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Old 05-26-2018, 05:22 PM   #1
Half a Rivet Short
 
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Victron MPPT Mounting

Hi

Sitting here reading through the manual on my SmartSolar MPPT 100/20, I came across this:

● Mount vertically on a non-flammable substrate,....

It's on page 5 in the manual if anybody wants to check it out. I understand the vertical mount. You want air to move past the heatsink fins. Mount it flat or horizontal and the heatsink is much less effective. It's the second part I sort of don't get.

If you look at teardown pictures of the converter, it's just got very normal semiconductors in it. They die a bit over 100C junction temperature. Getting the heatsink above 100C is just about impossible without toasting the insides of the device. At 100C, you aren't going to do any damage to plywood or particle board. Where does the "non-flammable" thing come from ?

Just to be sure that *somebody* actually follows the manual, I went on YouTube and watched a few videos. Sure enough, if it's a Victron video, they are mounting the beast on metal or something that looks like cement board. It's not just a non-flamable surface. (like foil over wood). It's a non-flamable substrate.

If it's really going to get up to >200C on the mounting ears, the body will be way above that. I'd think there would be a high temperature wire requirement as well .... Even fairly good insulation only gets a 105C label on it.

I'm wondering if this is some sort of crazy lightning / lawyer thing. Bolt hits the solar panel and vaporizes everything between there and ground. It all goes up in a big ball of metal vapor and flames. Since the Victron was on a block of cement ... it's not what burned down your house sir. It must have been the wires to and from the unit ....

Free beer to anybody who can find video of one of these things setting a wooden wall on fire

Note: I most emphatically do not believe that there is some voodoo in the Victron units that is any different than what everybody else does. If theirs need a magic mount, everybody needs a magic mount. I'm also not suggesting that everybody go buy a block of concrete to mount their solar controller on. I very much don't understand where the requirement comes from.

Bob
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Old 05-26-2018, 07:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post


... I very much don't understand where the requirement comes from.

Bob
Lawyers.
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by J-Dog View Post
Lawyers.
Hi

..... Except lawyers tend to travel in herds. What one comes up with all the rest quickly jump onto. I haven't *noticed* this sort of stuff on other converters. They all sell into the same markets. They all get sued in the same courts.

The substrate requirement does not show up on the Victron DC/DC converters. Of course there the manual only has a 10% of what the MPPT manuals have in them. Since the guts of a DC/DC are essentially what you have in a solar charge gizmo .... that's a bit weird as well. There is the very real possibility that it's just not in that manual *yet*.

The MultiPlus inverter / chargers get a nice long manual. They get the same yack about ventilation. They do not get the substrate requirement. They just get a mention to keep it away from curtains and open paint cans. Again, they have pretty much the same "stuff" as a converter / charger. They obviously got a manual from the same long winded process as the MPPT gizmos.

So if it's lawyers .... what exactly are they after that is unique to the MPPT's ?

Crazy !!!!

Bob
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Old 05-27-2018, 09:44 AM   #4
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Victron MPPT Mounting

Mine is under the bed. Works fine and it a a big unit (150/85) with 800watts of solar.

Btw my multi-plus is under the bed too. No problems.
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Old 05-27-2018, 10:49 AM   #5
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Hi

I am in no way surprised that you *can* mount these things on a chunk of plywood. It makes a lot of sense to me that it works. There are an ocean of videos showing people putting these gizmos in odd places. If it was a significant issue you would later see a flood of "here's a video of the fire" shots. You don't see anybody complaining.

I am indeed confused by their "substrate" note ....

.. and shame shame on you for mounting it with the connectors *up* .... . At least that part of the instructions makes sense if it's going to get wet.

Bob
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Old 05-27-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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Solar controller temperatures

"shame on you for mounting it with the connectors *up* .... At least that part of the instructions makes sense if it's going to get wet."

But I doubt it will. Looks as if Wulfraat's installation is in a corner of the bed, where it would take a flood of biblical proportions to wet those terminals.

As for Victron's "non-flammable" injunction, I agree that it's their lawyers speaking. I've looked Airstream these things with a thermal camera (Flir One) while they were under full load, and temperatures never got above 100 F.



I do, however, mount these controllers with half-inch standoffs, just to allow a little better air circulation over the heatsink in back. It may not be necessary, but I figure it can't hurt.
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:48 PM   #7
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this is my setup as 22FB under the road side bed corner

installed first in the shop on a plywood sheet , then completed re-wire under the bed.
easier to work with the mattress removed
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Old 05-27-2018, 03:50 PM   #8
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Hi

Even for lawyers, there has to be *something* driving the process. Putting this and that in just for the fun of it actually is a problem. If they go to court and the install information has no factual basis, they have a gotcha ....

There's got to be *something* driving this. One of us calling up Victron will get nowhere. We'll at best get the manual read to us. Any question past that will get "do what's in the manual as an answer". I suspect we need a dealer who can escalate this ( and is willing to do so) to get any real information.

Help !!! I'm stuck in Victron Limbo ( at least until the next box from Amazon arrives with that cable that actually *should* be long enough ... )

Bob
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